Figures collated by AgHealth Australia revealed 58 on-farm deaths were reported in 2019*, down from 68 cases in 2018, with quad bikes and tractors again reported as the leading causes of injury.
AgriFutures Australia is funding research to enhance farm health and safety as part of its National Rural Issues Program, working alongside the Rural Safety and Health Alliance (RSHA).
The 2019 report Non-intentional Farm Related Incidents in Australia highlights the total on-farm deaths, causes of injury, fatalities by age and gender, as well as the estimated economic impact of fatal injuries.
Updated bi-annually using data collated by AgHealth Australia, based at the University of Sydney, the report aims to provide comprehensive evidence to build preventative approaches for the safety and wellbeing of people in Australian agriculture.
AgriFutures Australia’s Senior Manager, Business Development, Jen Medway said the statistics show we still have a long way to go before agriculture can be rid of its ‘dangerous industry’ reputation.
“It’s no secret agricultural work involves significant risks with fatalities and serious injuries continuing to occur at a rate higher than other sectors. This is why Australia’s Rural Research and Development Corporations (RDCs) are committed to reshaping the conversation around farm and fisheries work health and safety,” said Ms Medway.
“We’re taking a collaborative approach through the RDC-funded RSHA to compile the data and use an evidence-based approach to improving safety across our agricultural, fisheries and forestry industries.”
RSHA Executive Officer, Andrew Barrett explained the RSHA is focused on projects to leverage leadership on health and safety, decision making with better data, as well as improving the quality of communications around health and safety to give the sector the best chance of making real impact at the farmer and fisher level.
“People are agriculture’s most important asset and to save lives we need to address risks with fatal potential,” said Mr Barrett.